Select Books: Unlocking the Wealth

By Peggy Fulton

   It’s definitely award season — Golden Globes, Grammys, Oscars, have been or are about to be named! In the world of children’s and young adult literature, eyes and ears were tuned to the January 28 ALA Youth Media Award Announcements. To help you stay on top of not only the ALA awards but the multitude of other awards and lists recognizing excellence in children’s and young adult literature, CLCD regularly updates our components listing Awards, Honors and Prizes, Best Books, State and Provincial Reading Lists, Reading Measurements Programs, Standards of Learning, Curriculum Tools, and Expanded Books, known collectively as Select Books. To access these, use the radio buttons on either our “old” search screen or on our new beta Advanced Search Screen by accessing the drop-down menu under “Search Specific Field.”

   While impossible to cover each category thoroughly here, I’ll briefly explain each one and focus on details in subsequent newsletters.

   One major feature of CLCD is the awards, honors and prizes lists. By its very nature, it is the most well-known and garners the most publicity. While the US dominates in breadth of awards given, we do our best to include international offerings.

   Whenever you search a specific title, the myriad of lists containing that title are displayed. For example, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, appears on sixty (60) lists! One such list is Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars. If you wanted to see all the titles for the Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, January 1, 2007, simply click on the list name.

   Awards date back to the early 1900’s, with the John Newbery Medal, first awarded in 1922, the Carnegie Medal, (United Kingdom), first presented in 1936, and the Randolph Caldecott Medal, designed by Rene Paul Chambellan, first awarded in 1938.

   Best Books is the term we use for collections of books recommended by a specific group, or aggregated by topic. Examples of these include:

  • Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English
  • Best Children’s Books of the Year, sponsored by Bank Street College of Education
  • Choices, sponsored by Cooperative Children’s Book Center

   State and Provincial Reading Lists includes recommended titles from various state library organizations and the organizations from the provinces of Canada. Representative lists are:

  • 2X2 Reading List, issued by the Texas Library Association
  • Beehive Award, issued by the Children’s Literature Association of Utah
  • Epinette Bleu, issued by the Durham School Board of Ontario, Canada
  • Wisconsin Battle of the Books, issued by the Wisconsin Educational Media Association

Very often students will vote for a winner and that book also becomes an entry in the Awards, Honors, and Prizes category.

   Reading Measurements Programs (found on the Search Page under Reading Metrics) cover thousands of titles from:

  • Accelerated Reader
  • Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
  • Reading Counts-Scholastic.

Evaluated by each organization respectively, entries typically include interest levels, reading levels, and other measures.

   Standards of Learning (found on the Search Page under Standards of Learning Information) are similar to Reading Measurements, yet categorized by the issuing agency. Among these lists are:

  • Project Stars: K-5 Children’s Literature and Correlation of the Virginia Standards of Learning from the Virginia Department of Education
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

   Curriculum Tools provide links to such resources as discussion guides on various websites. For example:

  • Link to Discussion Guide at Scholastic for the title, Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Link to the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) for the title, Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution

   Expanded Books offer URL’s for greater sensory input:

   Future articles, will provide greater depth on each of these categories. For now, search your favorite titles and see how often they were cited.

To view previous articles in this series, click on the following link:


Updated 02/01/13

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